Steam takes forever to open – What to do

Steam is a widely popular platform for purchasing and playing a large variety of video games. The platform offers a wide range of content, ranging from indie titles to higher-profile AAA games. The Steam client usually launches perfectly well, but there can be times where it can take a really long time to open.

There are a few factors that could be causing Steam to take forever to open, some of which we’ll go through in this article.

Steam takes forever to open

If your Steam client takes a while to open, there’s a good chance it’s down to the excessive download data you’ve saved in the app. Clearing your cache is the most common fix for this particular issue. If this doesn’t work, you may want to restart Steam.

There are a couple of other ways you can repair Steam too. We’ll cover some of the common causes for Steam taking forever to start up, along with ways to remedy those issues.

Clear Browser Cache/Cookies

One reason Steam is taking forever to launch could be due to Steam’s browser cache and cookies. There are instances where the browser cache and cookies can become corrupted, which can then lead to loading issues. In some cases, it may stop your Steam client from launching at all.

See Also: Steam won’t openFixed

Fortunately, any missing browser cache and cookies will get regenerated when Steam launches. This means that any missing data can be regained, so we can safely clear the cache and cookies without issue.

To clear Steam’s browser cache and cookies, open Steam. Then, click ‘steam’ in the top left corner. A list of options should appear. Click ‘settings’.


Click the ‘web browser’ tab. Then, click ‘delete web browser cache’ and ‘delete all browser cookies’. This will clear Steam’s browser cache and cookies.


Now, close Steam and relaunch it to see if it still takes a long time to start up.

Clear Download Cache

Another factor that could be causing Steam to take forever to start is Steam’s download cache. When you download something on Steam, it creates download cache. If there’s an excessive amount of download cache, it could affect Steam’s start up time. To remedy this problem, you can clear your Steam download cache.

Open Steam and click the ‘steam’ option in the top left. Then, click the ‘settings’ option.


Click the ‘downloads’ tab. Then, click ‘clear download cache’. Afterwards, close Steam and restart it to see if it still takes forever to launch.


Finally, close and relaunch Steam to see if the issue still exists. You may even want to check you have enough space on your computer too, as having too many Steam games downloaded could cause your device to become sluggish.

Related: Storing Steam Games on an External Hard Drive

Run Administrator

Steam’s start up could be affected by admin permissions, or lack thereof. If Steam hasn’t been granted admin permissions, its launch may be delayed.

Being granted admin permissions means that Steam can easily access system directories. If it’s unable to do, Steam can take a long time to launch. You can solve this problem by giving Steam admin permissions.

First, right-click on the shortcut for Steam. This should be available on your desktop. If not, you can find the Steam application in This PC > Windows (C:) > Programs (x86) > Steam. After right-clicking on the Steam app, click the ‘properties’ option.


Click the ‘compatibility’ tab. Check the box next to ‘run this program as an administrator’. Then, click ‘ok’.


Afterwards, try launching Steam again to see if the start-up problem persists.

Run Compatible Mode

Steam may be taking forever to load due to compatibility issues between the application and your OS. You can check whether this is the case by running the program in compatibility mode.

First, right-click on the Steam application. You can either use the Steam shortcut on your desktop, or find the application file in File Explorer. It should be located in your Steam folder, which is usually found in the Programs (x86) folder. After right-clicking the Steam app, click ‘properties’.


Click on the ‘compatibility’ tab. Then, check the box next to ‘run compatibility troubleshooter’. Click ‘ok’ when you’re done.


Afterwards, try relaunching Steam to see if it still takes forever to start up.

Turn Off Family Sharing

Sometimes, if you have Family Sharing enabled, Steam can take longer to launch. Having the Family Sharing feature turned on means that Steam must check and verify certain things before launching. You can try decreasing the start-up time by disabling the Family Sharing feature.

First, open the Steam application. Click ‘steam’ in the top left, and click ‘settings’.


Click the ‘Family’ option in the left side tab. Make sure that the box next to ‘authorise library sharing on this computer’ is unchecked. You can uncheck the box by clicking on it. When you’re done, click ‘ok’ to finalise the changes.


Now, close Steam and try opening the application again to see if the issue still persists.

Contact Steam Support

If nothing has worked in solving Steam’s start-up issue, try contacting Steam’s customer support service. You can locate their request form by going to


Make sure that you’re already logged into your Steam account on your browser before trying to access the help form. You make also want to take a screenshot of your Steam display stuck on loading to send too.


In conclusion, there are a few factors that could be causing Steam to take forever to load. Some of these factors may lie within Steam’s accumulated data, such as browser cache or download cache. Clearing these should solve any issues they could be causing when Steam launches.

Other causes may be more technical, such as compatibility issues or admin permissions. These issues can usually be remedied through Steam’s properties settings. If all these solutions failed in solving your issue, try contacting Steam’s support service.

Photo of author

Connect: Twitter



I love reading, writing, drawing, and other creative pursuits. I wish to travel more and do extreme activities, such as bungee-jumping and skydiving. I'm a casual gamer with an affinity for narrative-driven games and unique art styles. I like watching a variety of different media, but I particularly enjoy animations and musicals. My favourite genre, for both books and visual media, is psychological-thriller.

Read more from Jenny


Apps UK
International House
12 Constance Street
London, E16 2DQ